Azerbaijani rights sold for 36 URNS by Sirpa Kähkönen!

We are thrilled to let you know that the Azerbaijani rights for Sirpa Kähkönen’s Finlandia Prize-winning and #1 bestselling novel 36 URNS: A History of Being Wrong have been acquired by Qanun! The deal was closed by Sten-Erik Tammemäe at Elina Ahlback Literary Agency. Most recently, rights were sold to Blessing Verlag (PRH) in Germany

Qanun, established in 1992, is one of the biggest publishing houses in Azerbaijan. Their list includes Nobel Prize-winning authors such as Herta Müller, Orhan Pamuk, Alice Munro, and Svetlana Alexievich, and internationally bestselling authors such as J. K. Rowling, Paulo Coelho, Cecelia Ahern, Dan Brown, Jo Nesbø, Haruki Murakami and others.

36 URNS has become one of the absolute highlights of recent Finnish literature:

  • It is currently #1 bestseller in Finland in printed fiction and it is #2 on the Finnish bestseller chart across all formats and genres!
  • The novel has sold more than 50,000 copies in Finland and is currently in its 6th print in Finland!
  • It was the #1 bestselling title of 2023 in Akateeminen Kirjakauppa, the most prestigious bookstore in Finland!
  • It won the Finlandia Prize in fiction literature, the most prestigious literary award in Finland!
  • It is nominated for the Runeberg Literature Prize of 2024 and was nominated for the Savonia Prize of 2023!
  • The novel has received universal acclaim from the critics and the readers!

36 URNS has so far been sold to 6 territories, but rights are still available for US, UK, Italy, France, Poland, Netherlands, etc!

Download the materials for 36 URNS here!

36 Urns: A History of Being Wrong

Sirpa Kähkönen

Winner of the Finlandia Prize 2023!
Nominated for the Savonia Prize 2023 & Runeberg Prize 2024!

A celebrated author’s masterful and poetic confession of love to her mother

  • “A masterpiece worth living for” –  Jorma Uotinen, Finlandia Prize judge

Author Sirpa Kähkönen’s mother Riitta (b. 1941) died in March 2022 after a long illness. In life, she struggled to accept love. “I do not grieve your death, I grieve your life,” Sirpa Kähkönen writes, knowing fully well that her mother wouldn’t like the phrase. Her mother rejected love, despite longing for it the most. Riitta was athletic, beautiful, and gifted. A traffic accident at the age of 16 changed the course of her life for ever.

Drawing on her mother’s diaries, Kähkönen depicts the life of a 1950s girl and the dramatic change that followed the accident. The novel talks about community dance halls, a broken mind, flowing hems, a 1960s mother, anxiety, anger and hate, addiction, and moments of psychosis. It talks about how wars and other crises become corporeal, how violence is inherited, and how the culture of discouragement and submission is passed down through the generations in sayings and attitudes, with the author clearly seeing herself as part of the tradition of anger and violence.

The novel is permeated by a fiery love, as if an ancient Finnish spell that, with the power of words, is capable of bringing loved ones back from the dead.

Siltala, 2023, 267 pp.

English sample and synopsis
Finnish manuscript

FINLAND: Siltala (orig.)
ESTONIA: Koolibri
GERMANY: Blessing Verlag (PRH)
SWEDEN: Lind & Co

About author

Sirpa Kähkönen

Sirpa Kähkönen was born to a family that had been harshly treated by the history of the 1900s. World War II and the Civil War preceding it had wounded her family members and marked them with heavy silence and unspoken words.

Mapping out that silence became Sirpa’s work. The first questions that arose were related to her closest circle: what had happened to her beloved grandparents? From her personal sphere the intellectual curiosity widened to touch upon the history of Finland and then the history of Europe, and finally, researching the fate of an individual during times of crisis.

Sirpa Kähkönen lives and works in Helsinki. She constructs her works upon research, using a wide array of archives, newspaper clippings, research material, and contemporary literature. Inspired by microhistorical research tradition, Sirpa writes about how mentalities are formed, and how the immaterial inheritance runs in family lines and in societies.

Sirpa Kähkönen’s historical novel begins where source information ends. It opens the gates to experiencing the past in a sensory way; the characters live out the story as physical, sensual beings.

Sirpa Kähkönen has published thirteen novels of which one (36 Urns: A History of Being Wrong) has won and four others have been nominated for the prestigious Finlandia prize and one has been nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize. She has also published three non-fiction titles, one of which was nominated for the Tieto-Finlandia prize for non-fiction literature. In 2022, Kähkönen received the Finnish Cultural Foundation's Grand Prize for significant achievements in culture.

Awards and nominations:

Kirjallisuuden valtionpalkinto 1992 - The State Literary Prize 1992

Savonia-palkinto 1999 - Savonia Prize 1999

Kuopion taiteilijaseuran kirjallisuuden tunnustuspalkinto 2003 - The Kuopio Artist Society's Literary Award 2003

Kiitos kirjasta -mitali 2008 - Thank You for the book medallion 2008

Savon Sanomien Savonmuan Hilima -titteli 2010

Otavan kirjasäätiön Veijo Meri -palkinto 2012 - Otava Literary Fund Veijo Meri Prize 2012

Pro-Finlandia -mitali 2015 - Pro Finlandia Medallion 2015

Suomi-palkinto 2016 - Suomi-Finland Prize 2016 from the Ministry of Education and Culture

Savonia-palkinto 2021 - Savonia Prize 2021

Suomen Kulttuurirahaston suurpalkinto - The Finnish Cultural Foundation's Grand Prize 2021

Finlandia-palkinto 2023 - Finlandia Prize 2023


2023, Literary Fiction

36 Urns: A History of Being Wrong

Sirpa Kähkönen

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